Bill has heard from Delco residents about problems they think our state government can and should solve:
Too often, because of substance abuse or domestic violence, children are not safe in their homes. Pennsylvania foster care does not have sufficient resource to meet the needs. A lack of resources is true in general, but can be especially severe for the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins that step up in an emergency to take care of their relative’s children. Bill agrees with the Delco residents he talked with that we should do more to help all good people who step up to care for children in crisis.
Child abuse can happen to the same child in different counties but our counties do not always share that information well or quickly. Bill thinks we can fix county systems so child abuse information is shared and children are not left in danger.
Many residents are concerned that Delco’s hospital health care, emergency dispatch, and emergency ambulance services are at risk of failing because of inadequate state oversight and support. This is an urgent problem for our area that Bill wants to work to fix.
Residents in our region are concerned about privatization of water and sewer systems. PA law allows counties and municipalities to sell their systems and get cash for their budgets. This is inevitably only a short-term gain, because the work to operate and fix systems still has to be done, companies have higher borrowing costs, have to use fees to fund their profit margins, and have to balance profits with water safety and the environment. The legislature needs to do more to help water authorities fix their old systems and avoid selling their systems for short term gains and long term losses.
Pennsylvania directs professional election officials to prepare, administer, monitor, count, and certify one-candidate, uncontested party primary races. Most party primary races in Pennsylvania are uncontested, but these one-candidate races serve no democratic election purpose. Bill will sponsor legislation to move uncontested party primary races directly to the November ballot so that our election officials can focus on their real work of democracy, professionally conducting contested elections.
Bill shares the opinion of other citizens that our air and water permitting will serve us better if it includes our regional data on air and water quality. Bill also believes that citizens should be provided with easily understood, clear statements of the most significant air and water quality issues in their region and neighborhoods. Bill will work for legislation to modernize our air and water permitting and modernize the communication between government and citizens about their environment.
Our municipal recycling programs get state grants for each pound we put in the bins even for things that are not actually recycled. Bill thinks Pennsylvanians should encourage real recycling by municipalities and not pay municipalities for make-believe recycling.
Currently a single large green energy project, like a solar or wind farm, crossing municipal boundaries may face conflicting municipal codes. Bill supports standardized licensing and inspection for these large projects.
The smart meters on our houses in southeast Pennsylvania are not as smart as they are elsewhere in Pennsylvania. To help residents save money, our utility commission required smart meters state wide to be able to transmit real-time power usage to home owners. Utilities in Western and Central Pennsylvania turned this capability on, but the utilities in southeast Pennsylvania never did. Bill thinks we should get what we paid for in our smart meters and the legislature should direct the utility commission to require this capability be activated.
Some school districts and municipalities in Pennsylvania and Delco have taxes like per capita that waste about 20% of the tax just collecting the tax. In the legislature, Bill will work to eliminate these inefficient taxes and require local governments to vote either to eliminate them or transfer them to their other taxes that cost fractions of a percent to collect.